Bachmann increases public profile, makes another gaffe, in NH trip
March 12th, 2011
07:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Bachmann increases public profile, makes another gaffe, in NH trip

Nashua, New Hampshire (CNN) - Might anyone wonder, Sarah Palin, who?

At a time when the former Alaska governor appears to be shrinking from the spotlight, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is stepping up as yet another favorite daughter of the conservative movement.

In recent television appearances, political activities and speaking engagements, Bachmann has matched Palin's slams against President Obama and garnered seemingly equal affection from conservative activists.

But it remains to be seen whether embarrassing and highly publicized gaffes will affect her presidential chances.

On Saturday, the Minnesota Republican was in full swing: speaking at a high school academy in Manchester, headlining a fundraiser in Nashua for the New Hampshire GOP, and capping her day at a Tea Party-type event in Barrington. On Friday night, Bachmann attended a fundraiser at a private home.

Her weekend rollout was not without incident.

At the Nashua fundraiser, protesters crashed the carefully choreographed event. And at the earlier engagement in Manchester, Bachmann said of New Hampshire, "You're the state where the shot was heard around the world at Lexington and Concord."

The Battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775 were fought in Massachusetts.

In the YouTube-era, those kinds of embarrassing moments can be replayed over and over with potentially damaging effect. Especially given other gaffes from Bachmann. She recently raised eyebrows over comments on the nation's founding fathers and slavery. And she was mocked for appearing to look off camera during her post-State of the Union Tea Party response.

CNN rode in a van, exclusively, with Bachmann as she was ferried between her first and second stops in the Granite state.

It was a rare sight: Bachmann and husband Marcus joking with three of their five children; Bachmann putting finishing touches on a speech; and everyone talking about sports.

When the conversation turned to the NBA's Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics, Bachmann lit up and said, "Yeah! Isn't he a great basketball player?" Garnett previously played for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

There was also an all-important family discussion. "How did you sleep last night, you guys?" Bachmann asked her family.

Aside from family, the issue of fiscal responsibility was a matter of concern to the potential candidate.

"We've talked a lot, already this morning, about your great state motto: 'live free or die,'" Bachmann said at the beginning of her Nashua speech. "And it causes me to think also about the motto of the state of Virginia: 'Death to tyrants!'"

From there, Bachmann – who is chair of the House Tea Party Caucus – repeated many of her oft-stated, Tea Party-rhetoric-laced slams. She continued her call for the repeal of "Obamacare," railed against the tax code and federal spending, even repeated a controversial line against the president.

"I said that we have a 'gangster government' running the show down in Washington, D.C. And I don't step back from that statement," Bachmann said at the fundraiser. "Because this is an administration that is intent on taking from its opponents – and giving to its friends. There's a lot in common with a lot of Chicago's history in this administration."

Obama was not the only president to receive criticism. Bachmann even lashed out at the last Republican to hold the office.

While talking about the federal deficit, Bachmann said: "As you know, this year alone, the deficit will be $1.65 trillion. This is remarkable. Under the big-spending George Bush – and he was a big spender. I respect our president. But he was a big spender. Just consider: in 2007, the deficit was something less than $175 billion for the year. Last month, under Barack Obama, the deficit was $223 billion. We are going off the cliff with out of control spending."

At least one prominent Tea Party leader is encouraging Bachmann to run for president, while not mentioning Palin.

Though not an official endorsement, Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips wrote in a message to supporters: "at this point, this movement is going to have to choose a standard bearer for the White House in 2012. It may be a little early to choose that person now, but it is not too early for us to encourage good conservatives to get into the race."

"Run Michele, RUN!" Phillips wrote.

Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @shantravisCNN

Filed under: 2012 • Michele Bachmann • New Hampshire
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Mike in SA

    I'm conservative and even I can't stand this self-absorbed screeching squawk-box. Didn't like her much before but her State of the Union grandstanding totally put her in the trash bin for me.

    March 12, 2011 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  2. Obamacare = Romneycare v1.01

    So is getting ae Tea Party endorsement predicated on one's not knowing American History, or just not knowing the fine point of the U.S. Constitution (such as the First Amendment)?

    March 12, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  3. A

    I honestly believe that people would not be that stupid to vote for someone like her.

    March 12, 2011 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  4. patcee

    Wow, really? What a dream candidate – to the Democrats.

    March 12, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    These women, Palin and Bachmann, just wake up in the morning and say I want to be president. Running for president iof the U.S. isn't like being a PTA president but it appears to be their way of thinking.

    March 12, 2011 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  6. Why?

    Why are all the prominent Republican females dunces? Is it because it does not threaten the top male Republicans?

    March 12, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  7. Kramses86

    Bachmann for President! It would be the best entertainment on television to see her debate against Obama!

    March 12, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  8. Sane In AZ

    I am completely flabbergasted that any one could take this woman seriously. In a time of crisis, such as we are in, we need strong, intelligent leaders who are ready to make the best choices for all Americans.

    Individuals like this woman, Sarah Palin, and the majority of the Tea Party backed candidates claim to love America....they simply hate most of the people who live here (some public figure said that and its stuck with me)

    Political polarization is bad for this country period. Until we learn to compromise and make decisions based on the good of the people and not our own bank accounts or corporate fat cats or whichever Church we decide to worship in we will have no prosperity.

    March 12, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  9. Spartan1117

    It is "Thus Always to Tyrants" you uneducated RepubliCON.

    March 12, 2011 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    was she complaining about the money spent on this useless was? go away idiot

    March 12, 2011 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  11. jerry

    The tea bag hag is at it again, I see her as running on the idea that we need to change our consitution to eliminated the right of seperation from church and state. I hope people realize that people like her don't see a way to help our country, all they see is what ever happens they will become very wealthy in the process, look at palin, she quit her goverment job because she seen a chance to make more money in one year than her whole life time, but to do so she had to sell her soul to the likes of the Koch brothers, ask her if she has any connections with them. Marx said religion is the opium of the masses and the tea bag hag is using that to get wealthy not to futher our democracy. They are not for abortions but they are not for helping the poor women when the child is born. They do not believe in out of wedlock babies because it a fact they believe the man is boss and a woman could never raise a kid by theirself. Vote for her and vote to go back to the dark ages.

    March 12, 2011 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  12. willie floyd

    SC had a rally today mostly focused on education. Have no idea of the number attending but it was a very good and well organized event. There were a few TPs there, but no one tried to force them away. As a former Indep., now Dem., I truly believe if the Dems. don't step up and rid our country of these money hungry Reps., life as I have known it over my 65 yrs. will cease to exist. I have a grandson whom I want to grow up as I did-with the American Dream.

    And no, I am not on welfare and I've worked all my life and paid into S.S. as well as paying my fair share of taxes. DEMS GET OFF YOUR BACKSIDES AND DON'T STAY HOME IN 2012-VOTE!

    March 12, 2011 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  13. mm

    This woman is unbelievable. On one hand, I want her to run because I think she could never win. On the other hand, I don't want to continue reading about her!

    March 12, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  14. DENNA

    I said that we have a 'gangster government' running the show down in Washington, D.C. And I don't step back from that statement," Bachmann said at the fundraiser. _______________________________________________________________________________
    Seriously Michelle? Really? That's your take on one of the best presidents in the history of this country? You and your minions have been whining about President Obama being a socialist while ignoring the facist behavior of the rabid right. I wonder how many conservatives are also members of public unions? Do you get it now? Has the governor of Wisconsin opened your eyes wide enough yet? The Republican party IS NOT the friend of ordinary Americans.

    March 12, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  15. Mark8131

    Isn't NH the 57th state?

    March 12, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  16. Robert

    Gaffe.........ah, sorta like 57 states I guess. Can't see what the big deal is. Everyone who has ever spoken in public makes gaffes. It just happens people – deal with it.

    March 12, 2011 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  17. Lenmsith

    Please give us a break from this really crazy and not so bright woman. How she ever got in the congress is a question a lot of people should ask.

    March 12, 2011 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  18. GI Joe

    She and the republican governors are working for the fascist cock brothers. %un them out on a rail, or accept Hitler-like dictatorship for the children and grand-children.

    March 12, 2011 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  19. What ever happened to Randolph Carter

    Randolph Carter, come back. We miss you.

    March 12, 2011 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  20. Charlie in Maine

    This new wave of GOPers, boy I dunno, I men I knew they were asleep in economics class (voo-doo, trickle down supply side) but they ain't so good a that there geography and history neither.

    March 12, 2011 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  21. B

    This woman is a total "Space Cadet".

    She epitomizes the mentality of most of the Right Wing of the GOP..

    March 12, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  22. margot707

    A great. That's all we need. Of wait. LET her run! She'll be perfect fodder for the late night comedy crew and Obama's supporters won't have to work as hard to get him re-elected.

    March 12, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  23. Master of Deception

    Shannon Travis, You are a nutjob. Michele Bachann is no Sarah Palin and never will be.

    March 12, 2011 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  24. Ron in California

    You've gotta love the Left. Bachmann is a diversion from the real candiate. Let the left salivate.

    March 12, 2011 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  25. Steve in Virginia

    Virginia's state motto is not "Death to tyrants." It is "Thus always to tyrants," translated from the Latin. What a freaking idiot this woman is.

    March 12, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
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